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Ecclesiastical History, VI. xxv.

these there are the Maccabees, which are entitled Sar bēth sabanai el.”1

These things he inserts in the above-mentioned treatise. But in the first of his [Commentaries] on the Gospel according to Matthew, defending the canon of the Church, he gives his testimony that he knows only four Gospels, writing somewhat as follows: “. . . as having learnt by tradition concerning the four Gospels, which alone are unquestionable in the Church of God under heaven, that first was written that according to Matthew, who was once a tax-collector but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, who published it for those who from Judaism came to believe, composed as it was in the Hebrew language. Secondly, that according to Mark, who wrote it in accordance with Peter’s instructions, whom also Peter acknowledged as his son in the catholic epistle, speaking in these terms: ‘She that is in Babylon, elect together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Mark my son.’ And thirdly, that according to Luke, who wrote, for those who from the Gentiles [came to believe], the Gospel that was praised by Paul. After them all, that according to John.”

And in the fifth of his Expositions on the Gospel according to John the same person says this with reference to the epistles of the apostles: “But he who was made sufficient to become a minister of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the spirit, even Paul, who fully preached the Gospel from Jerusalem and round about even unto Illyricum, did not so much as write to all the churches that he taught; and even to those to which he wrote he sent but a few

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.eusebius-ecclesiastical_history.1926